Read PDF Flying Change: A Year of Racing and Family and Steeplechasing

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In that, there are plenty of other things and activities on the day to keep people interested. Take all that into consideration and we feel we represent a top-class day out but maybe not one that will be heard around the world — yet.

Gallery: Bourbon and Barns

However, there is one part of the day that is a world leader and you will, quite literally, hear it around the world. That is our race caller, Mark Johnson. For those of you that have heard Mark Johnson before, he takes the calling of a race and brings it close to an art form. Mark has the ability to control the audience and their attention just like a conductor at a symphony. You could turn your back to the action and still know exactly what is happening.

Mark can make the hairs stand on the back of your neck. Mark is that good! His record speaks for itself. Mark is the first and only non-American to call The Kentucky Derby, which he has done 5 times. His reputation and talent meant that he has called the English Grand National many times with all 40 starters.

He has called races all over the world including France, Spain, Qatar and the tiny island off the coast of Britain, Jersey. Mark is even on the board of directors for the horse racing in Jersey, such is his love for the sport. Everything from walking the course to make sure that the turf is spot on for the horses, to making sure all the right tents are in the right places.

2015 Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award

We spend long hours going over colors and menus. But the ones that really do need thanks and appreciation are our Race Partners. There are a few things that without them, the day would not go ahead and it is fair to say that without our race Partners this would all be a dream. Brown Advisory, a thoughtful financial company will be the presenter of the first race on the afternoon and are joining us for the first time as a Race Partner. The Charlotte Business Journal will have the second race in their name and TruGeen, one of our longest partners, will once again present the Future Champions Turf Race.

Sonitrol Verified Security are our presenting partner and we are truly indebted to them. Outside of that we have a multitude of Course Partners and contributors. Again, we would like to express a sincere thank you to all of these Partners too. Novant Health are the proud presenters of The Opening Ceremonies. It is one thing to just mention all of these partners but allow me to express sincere thanks to all of these companies. Our day, which is really your day could absolutely not happen without all of you. From the bottom of our hearts, you have helped to make our dreams come true.

Now lets all have a great day. The fun and games, meeting, greeting and the pageantry all start in Brooklandwood when the clock strikes 10 on the morning of April 29th. But, when we hear the familiar bars that signal the start of the Star-Spangled Banner, it is only then that we know the show has begun.


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Like all of you, we have heard our National Anthem in dozens of venues and sporting events. Also like you, our hair will stand on end, and for some, even a tear will form with pride. Although it only lasts a very short time, it means so much to so many.

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Beauty in Sport: Celebrating Horse Racing in Harford County

Then we heard Maddie Huecker sing it in a way that made us feel all those things and more. Maddie, a native of Mooresville, NC. Although the National Anthem does not change from one rendition to another, let me tell you, Maddie does it differently. A voice that has been blessed and the ability to use that talent and then to do it on the big day.

I can assure you, the rockets red flair and the bombs bursting in air have never sounded so good. I came to America to ride and found it very different. The people still come, and come in the thousands, but not for the commercialization. I still ride and ride at a high level and I realize that there are many opportunities to do things within our sport to make it better. As a jockey, I was brought on to give a different perspective to the Team, to bring some of my passion and find unique ways for their Sponsors and Patrons to see a side of the racing game very few people from the outside see.

I have gained a wealth of experience. I have seen racing on its greatest days and I have been lucky enough to compete on most of them. Although I will not ride here this year, I look forward to the opportunity of riding at the Brooklandwood racecourse again. We spend hours, days, weeks and months spreading the word about The Queens Cup and how much fun it is. How you and your family and guests need to come out to Mineral Springs to have an amazing and unforgettable day. We are constantly telling people how beautiful it is out here and once you experience it, you will come back year after year.

We say that because we mean it and believe it. Our primary focus and reason for being around. Flying Change is a must-read for the general audience as well as lovers of the horse and of horse racing. Tony Ryan Book Award. In Flying Change, the author—a son and nephew of Racing Hall of Fame horsemen and a rider possessed of his own bonafide credentials—relates the story of his return to steeplechase competition in his late 40s, a quarter-century removed from his previous racing career. With humor, elegance, and charming introspection he recalls the difficult road back from complacent middle-age to athletic fitness … the doubts, the joys, and setbacks along the way in his quest to compete and to defy the passage of time.

Fortus, West Among Ryan Book Award Finalists

Submissions for the Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award came from all over the world, included among them histories, biographies, fiction, and a volume on equine law.


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  5. Although Dr. Toby, winner of the Dr. Previous winners of the Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award:. Flying Change will reward anyone who has feelings about family, about being young, about growing old.

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    It will move you if you know how it feels to ride a racehorse or only wish you did. A frank, funny, tender love song to knowledge and connections that never should be lost, even as generations move along. The lyrical beauty as Smithwick describes the horses and the heartfelt love as he describes his kids is the surf-and-turf of a memoir that one does not want to put down. As much as I was moved by Racing My Father, Flying Change is vastly superior — like an athlete being in the zone the whole time.

    Like all great memoir writers, Smithwick puts the reader into his world with words. I swear I can smell the stalls, see the dust when the horses are currycombed and feel the visceral pain when the writer is torn by too many competing constituencies…There is still so much Smithwick has left out.

    Foxfield Races

    Never stop punching Patrick, son of Paddy! Damn, when I finished I felt like a good friend had left town and I want to know the rest of the story…. It all rings so true. What a gift Smithwick has given us…. Flying Change is poignant, uplifting, and written with the same informed sensitivity Smnithwick demonstrated in Racing My Father.